Supervisors reject vote on district elections


By on Tue, July 13, 2010

April Vargas is a candidate for the Board of Supervisors.

At their July 13 meeting, the Board of Supervisors rejected San Mateo County joining the other 57 California counties in having district elections.  Rich Gordon was the sole vote to put the issue on the upcoming November ballot. It was recommended by the County’s Charter Review Committee that voters decide whether San Mateo County should move from antiquated county-wide elections to district elections that would conform with the Voting Rights Act of 2001.

It is an outrage that the Board of Supervisors would not allow the voters to decide the issue of district elections.  By their action today, they are exposing the County to a likely lawsuit brought by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. 

Counties, cities, school districts and special districts throughout California have instituted district elections to conform with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.  At the forefront of this change is the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights which has won court decisions up and down the state in support of the Voting Rights Act.

District elections allow minority voters to have a greater influence on electoral outcomes by localizing the contests within smaller geographical areas.

The Board’s decision today ignores the Voting Rights Act, refuses to allow a vote of the people and persists in making it difficult for Coastsiders to elect a local representative. It’s time to end this insiders game and elect a new voice on the Board of Supervisors.